On Monday, June 27, I attended the NYPD SHIELD conference at One Police Plaza in Manhattan.
As detailed in my article titled “NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model” published in the July 25, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, NYPD SHIELD is a public-private partnership. It is a unique unity of effort dedicated to countering terrorism through information sharing.
These are perilous times throughout America with the threat of terrorism as witnessed in horrific attacks. These have included the Boston Marathon Bombings, San Bernardino, and the Orlando nightclub.
Each of these tragedies is a sobering reminder that terrorism is a real and present danger demanding moral leadership and collaborative vigilance. Law enforcement officials, private security professionals, and members of the public must be dedicated to a unity of effort.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton
As normal protocol for NYPD SHIELD conferences, the event began with NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s remarks.
Bratton advised over 400 attendees on the dangers of ISIS, particularly with its exploiting the destabilized Middle East due to the Syrian crisis.
The commissioner explained how ISIS ignited terror attacks by inspiring, enabling, or directing them.
Bratton assured attendees of the NYPD’s commitment to terrorism prevention, preparedness, and response. This includes 550 members of the Critical Response Command (CRC), an elite cadre of officers trained for terrorism and active shooter scenarios.
The CRC is supported by 800 additional officers in the Strategic Response Group (SRG). In addition, Bratton stated that there are over 700 officers in the Emergency Services Unit (ESU). All these units are supported by a robust investigative unit in partnership with many other law enforcement agencies.
Boston Marathon Bombings Retrospective
Although numerous terrorist attacks were cited during today’s conference, a presentation titled “Boston Marathon Bombings Retrospective” was emotionally riveting.
This presentation began with FBI special agent Timothy Brown who stressed that it is difficult to stop terrorism, as with the Boston Marathon, during the attack stage. Therefore, Brown stressed that effective investigations, especially to thwart pre-attack surveillance plans, were critical to terrorism prevention.
Brown also stressed that the importance of public safety and first-responder cohesiveness was critical after an attack. He emphasized that balancing these two factors was paramount so that medical assistance can take place while safeguarding all from the possibilities of additional attacks.
According to Brown, the focus of the Boston Marathon bombings was directed by the FBI as the lead agency since it was an act of terror.
In this role, the FBI worked collaboratively with other agencies to gather evidence. This included digital evidence collected from closed-circuit TVs and smartphones. Brown stated that private and public sectors were extremely cooperative with providing digital evidence. This evidence helped law enforcement to identify a person of interest, who was accompanied by another suspect in the evidence, which led them to the two attackers.
Following FBI special agent Brown’s presentation, was Steve Mellin, deputy criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Mellin’s passionate presentation focused on making the lives of the victims a priority for prosecution. He stressed that the horrific nature of the attacks resulted in deaths, amputations, and injuries to hundreds of innocent people. During the prosecution, Mellin used graphic photos and videos to successfully convict the surviving attacker.
This digital evidence powerfully depicted the attacker’s callous contempt for human life. It clearly showed their awareness that the explosion, filled with nails and other projectiles, would impact children who surrounded them as they stood preparing to leave their bombs in the crowd.
America must remain collaboratively vigilant during these perilous times as terror incidents continue to accelerate.
We must also have hope and remain determined that our unity is our strength. This was emphasized at the NYPD SHIELD event by Chief Edward Deveau of the Watertown Police Department. The chief, now retired, had his officers involved with a shootout with the two attackers, who also attacked the officers with exploding pipe bombs.
Deveau stated that the slogan “Boston Strong” was a reality due to the courage of the victims, the compassion of the first-responders and medical professionals, and the commitment of law enforcement.
These are the qualities that make “Boston Strong,” “New York Strong,” and “America Strong,” Deveau stated, and that “no fear of terror will ever diminish the greatness of America.”
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.